Dashcam footage released months after a horrific multi-fatality Florida I-75 crash presents a disturbing picture of alleged negligence. As reported by WIBW 13 News, the footage shows an oncoming 18-wheeler crossing the highway median and smashing into a church van.
The impact killed five children riding in the van and injured seven other passengers. The operator of another truck driving behind the van, which was the source of the dashcam footage, also lost his life when he was unable to stop in time to avoid the 18-wheeler crossing the median.
Trucking company claims their driver suffered a “sudden medical emergency”
The trucking company is facing potentially high punitive damages if a jury finds that its alleged negligence was the cause of the tragic accident. The company that employed the 18-wheeler driver claims a “sudden medical emergency” was the cause of its employee crossing the highway median. Legal counsel for the plaintiffs, however, disputes the claim.
Truck driver also had a history of traffic charges
As reported by WABC TV20, the truck driver that crossed the median had previous traffic charges filed against him. The charges included driving an unsafe vehicle, careless driving and speeding. These charges may help convince a jury in the upcoming personal injury and wrongful death suits that the trucking company was negligent in maintaining the driver’s employment.
Trucking company and its CEO face nine lawsuits
The trucking company CEO, who is a defendant in the nine suits filed as a result of the collision, issued a statement asserting that the company has “a rigorous protocol” in place to ensure the safety of other drivers on the road. The dashcam video and previous traffic charges, however, may cause a jury to decide that the trucking company’s safety efforts were ineffective in preventing an avoidable accident.
In addition to covering funeral expenses and other financial issues, a wrongful death suit may provide a sense of emotional closure to a tragic and preventable loss of a loved one. When juries award punitive damages, it may also bring about much-needed changes in the way that a company enforces its safety procedures.